Question: What are the best natural approaches to helping a man diagnosed with depression?
Answer: Depression 1 in 10 people who come into a primary care practice. It's certainly not uncommon for men to experience it, though they may experience it differently. Some men it presents more as anger, or a sense of problems with concentration, lack of motivation, and not necessarily with simply the sadness. I think of depression as being treatable through a four tier approach, and there are several things that I like to use that are more natural. Certainly the simplest aspect of that is to get people to do more exercise. Exercise has been found in numerous studies to make a huge difference. In addition I'll work with supplements or medications. As far as supplements go, I really think of them as a stock gap to help folks get back on their feet so that they can take some of the other steps that they need to help heal themselves of the depression. Examples include St. John's Wort -- that one has the tendency to interact with a lot of medications so I do encourage folks to talk with someone who really knows how to prescribe it when they're working with it. Standard doses are anywhere from 300 milligrams once a day, and then increasing up to three times a day, or you can also do 450 milligrams twice a day.
Another of my favorite supplements is SAMe. That stands for S-adenosylmethionine. The dosing on that can range from anywhere from 300 milligrams three times a day, to 600 milligrams three times a day. It's a little bit pricier, but tends to work quite quickly and tends to work with muscle pain as well. In addition though, I will recommend counseling, it's incredibly helpful to talk things through. And then last but not least, I encourage guys I see to work with various relaxation and mind influence approaches. There's great evidence that those lead to long lasting effects on depression, and can really make a difference in helping people look inward as opposed to simply getting caught up on external causes of the depression, and combining those is often very helpful.